Three-star forward Eric Curry committed to the University of Minnesota early on Wednesday morning, a source confirmed to the Star Tribune, capping off a momentous week for coach Richard Pitino and the Gophers.
"He just had that feeling [about Minnesota] and I got that feeling that I was not going to have to worry about him," Curry's mom, Audrea Phipps said. "He connected so well with the coaching staff and also with the players. That was the biggest factor for him making the decision because otherwise all the schools pretty much offered the same thing as far as they were all great schools, they had great programs, the fan bases were beyond amazing. The deciding factor was the connection."
Curry, a 6-7 2016 stretch-4 from Arkansas, gave the Gophers the nod less than two days after Amir Coffey, the state’s top prospect and a lauded national recruit committed to his home-state school. Curry and Coffey have become friends over the last year, taking their official visit to Minnesota together on Sept. 3. Minnesota assistant Ben Johnson was the lead recruiter on both players.
"It’s been amazing, they’ve gotten pretty close," Phipps said. "He stayed in contact constantly – he was of all the recruiters the one that stayed in contact constantly but wasn’t bothersome or worrisome. It just felt good with me and with Eric.
"Coach Pitino, he was genuine. He told Eric the truth, he didn’t just tell him what he wanted to hear, he told him the truth. They just did all the right things, I think."
Curry also had offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Saint Louis, SMU and VCU.
Along with Rochester wing Michael Hurt, the pair finishes off Minnesota’s 2016 class with a haul that likely will end up nationally ranked.